Biomedical diagnostics

Optical methods can play an important role in biomedical diagnostics. For instance, cell-derived vesicles, including exosomes, are receiving a lot of attention of late as potential diagnostic markers for various diseases, such as cancer. In recent years we have been working on optical detection and characterization methods of extracellular vesicles. In particular we have succeeded for the first time in SERS fingerprinting of individual exosomes, allowing cancerous vesicles to be discriminated from healthy ones. In addition, in collaboration with other groups we are working on projects where in vivo optical imaging and detection of cells is important, for instance in the context of cancer immunotherapy.


Selected key publications:

  • Stremersch S., Marro M., Pinchasik B.-E., Baatsen P., Hendrix A., De Smedt S.C., Loza-Alvarez P., Skirtach A.G., Raemdonck K., Braeckmans K. Identification of Individual Exosome-Like Vesicles by Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Small 12, 3292-3301 (2016).
  • Deschout H., Raemdonck K., Stremersch S., Maoddi P., Mernier G., Renaud P., Jiguet S., Hendrix A., Bracke M., Van den Broecke R., Röding M., Rudemo M., Demeester J., De Smedt S.C., Strubbe F., Neyts K., Braeckmans K. On-chip light sheet illumination enables diagnostic size and concentration measurements of membrane vesicles in biofluids. Nanoscale 6, 1741-1747 (2014).
  • Braeckmans K., De Smedt S.C., Roelant C., Leblans M., Pauwels R., and Demeester J. Encoding microcarriers by spatial selective photobleaching. Nature Materials 2, 169-173 (2003).
  • Braeckmans K., De Smedt S.C., Leblans M., Pauwels R., and Demeester J. Encoding microcarriers: Present and future technologies. Nat. Rev. Drug Discov. 1, 447-456 (2002).

For more information on ongoing projects, please see:
Stephan Stremersch
Aranit Harizaj
Juan Fraire